There is only one week left until the start of the knockout stage and only the top eight will make it. The teams are poised to battle it out for the remaining spots, but how did they get to where they are? Here’s a rundown of last week’s action.
|1||Underwatch||University of York||8|
|2||UoB Zeus||University of Birmingham||7|
|Kebabaru and chipsu||Staffordshire University||7|
|Warwick Angels||University of Warwick||7|
|5||Björn to Win||Manchester Metropolitan University||6|
|Rogue Swan||Swansea University||6|
|NO MERCI||University of Manchester||6|
|NaCl (NCL)||University of Newcastle||6|
|Cambridge University NUEL Team||University of Cambridge||6|
|SHU’d have gone to Uni of||Sheffield Hallam University||6|
|LU Press Q||Loughborough University||6|
|Romeo’s Angels||De Montfort University||6|
|DU like Jazz||Durham University||6|
Going into Week Three, it was Underwatch from York and Warwick Angels sitting undefeated at the top of table. Yet only one would walk away with that record still intact as they would be pitted against one another in their first fixture of the day. It would also be the first streamed game of the day, caster Dezachu highlighting Underwatch captain Andrew “Zreak” Grierson as someone to look out for. However, it was all about Xipher from Warwick and Gmoon from York in the first two rounds. It was a hard fought affair, both teams refusing to give ground. They went into the last map (Lijiang Tower) at 1-1, a win for Underwatch on King’s Row and a win for the Angels on Route 66. The first round of Lijiang was dominated by Underwatch, but Warwick came back just as strong in the second. The last round did not disappoint. Warwick looked to be taking the lead, able to cap to 84%, but York wrestled back control. Warwick tried to force their way onto the point, but after several unsuccessful attempts and a strong Graviton Surge from Callum “Ryujehong” Torrington, they were ultimately unsuccessful. Underwatch clinched it.
Underwatch would go on to defeat Last Bathstion to cement their place at the top of the leaderboard, maintaining their undefeated record. Warwick Angels recovered to defeat the Cambridge University NUEL Team, but are now forced to share second place with two other teams going into the final week before knockouts.
Last Bathstion and Cambridge University NUEL Team had both been looking to bolster their positions towards the top of the league. While Cambridge managed to go 1-1, remaining in contention for the knockout stages after defeating Bath and losing to the, until recently, undefeated Warwick, Bath were not so lucky. Going up against Underwatch was always going to be a tough task and an 0-2 week sees them fall to joint 15th.
UoB Zeus and Bjorn to Win went into the third week hot on the heels of Warwick and York. Greek God and honorary Brummie Zeus would smite down LU Press Q in their first game, but Manchester Metropolitan’s Swedish everyman Bjorn would match the Olympian with a win over fellow chasers IC9 LUL. Imperial would go on to drop another game, an 0-2 week sending them down the ladder, but UoB Zeus and Bjorn to Win would face each other in a mouth-watering clash in their final match of the day.
The crowd gathered on stream to watch these two teams fight it out. UoB Zeus had the easier time earlier on, Birmingham’s finest able to prevent Manchester Met from reaching the second point. Taking full advantage of the opposition’s struggles, they won the first game. Perennial nearly-men UoB seemed to be sitting pretty, but struggled somewhat on Eichenwalde, only reaching the last point with less than a minute to spare. They held well at first, a notable highlight being a three-man RIP-Tire from captain George “Kirkmania” Kirkman, but they were eventually broken by Bjorn to Win. Manchester Met made steady progress up to the third point, frantic fighting ensuing outside Birmingham’s spawn. In the end, Manchester took it only seconds behind their opponents. Buoyed by this, Bjorn were able to make it onto the first point the following round with UoB Zeus unable to match them. 1-1.
The third map saw them clash on Gibraltar, powerful Widowmaker play from UoB’s Sewon (known to some as “Susan”). Duels between Fish and Sewon ensued as chaos erupted around them, but Birmingham pushed hard and capped the final point with plenty of time left. Bjorn started equally strong, but could not maintain momentum at the second point. A desperate overtime push saw them make ground, but fall short just before the final point. UoB Zeus claimed the win over the summer champions.
Elsewhere, Kebabaru and chipsu of Staffordshire University were able to go 2-0 and maintain their 3rd place spot after wins over Rogue Swan and BUEsports. Rogue Swan managed to take a win in their second game against UEA Hackstreet Boys who fell down the table as a result. BUEsports had won their first game of the day against Brookes Back Mountain meaning they went one for one.
A number of teams also decided to make their move on the upper echelons, most notably Durham’s DU Like Jazz and Manchester’s NO MERCI. Finalists from last year’s Winter Championship, both were making up for lost time as they went 2-0. DU Like Jazz battled two teams from the University of Leicester and defeated them, meaning that they are unbeaten since Week One of the tournament. NO MERCI seemed to have recovered from a poor Week Two, beating Elephant and Castle and Newcastle University Dozy Elks to make ground on their Metropolitan rivals. NaCl (NCL) from the University of Newcastle have also made the leap up from 13th as they now sit on six wins after a 2-0 week. De Montfort University’s Romeo’s Angels had a 2-0 week, even defeating previously high-flying IC9 LUL. LU Press Q of Loughborough University remain in the running after losing to UoB Zeus, but seeing off Lancaster’s LUGES RED.
Week Four sees the teams go head to head for a final chance to make their cases for the knockout stages with only eight spots available. The check-in deadline will be at 6:30pm with the captains’ meeting at 7pm. Matches are expected to start at 7:15pm, so don’t miss it. Good luck!
James “Nilknarf” Franklin